Should You Offer a Client Wardrobe?Nov 14, 2023
In recent years we have seen tremendous growth in the number of photographers offering client wardrobes, and it can be tempting to jump on the bandwagon! We love shopping and buying pretty dresses just as much as the next girl! However, we are urging you to pause, step away from the “add to cart” button for justtttt a minute, and ask “just because everyone else is doing it, does that mean I should too?” (Hint: that’s never a good reason to do anything for your business!)
First, let’s consider some of the the benefits and potential drawbacks of offering a client wardrobe. Then, it's up to YOU to decide what’s best for YOUR business.
And incase you needed to hear it: Your business can be successful WITH or WITHOUT a client wardrobe! Ok, let’s get started…
A client wardrobe can be a tremendous way to add value to your client experience! Moms love to have this option as finding and buying outfits is consistently one of the top complaints/concerns of moms when they book a family session.
If done correctly, you will be charging more for your sessions as a result of offering this service and therefore increasing your profits (again, as long as it is done correctly and your costs of investing in a client wardrobe are accounted for.)
Greater control over your photos
Since you are the one selecting the wardrobe you have control over what you offer. You get to select your favorite materials, tones, and brands. No more surprises when you show up to the session!
We recommend you set an annual budget (think of both time and dollars for this one!). If you are an easy-spender and love to shop, this can be a slippery slope of hours spent searching for the next dress and hard earned dollars out the door. Stick to your budget and what your business can afford. You don't need to invest in a huge client closet from the beginning. It's 100% okay to slowly build each year. Start with some staple pieces that fit a wide range of sizes -We can't tell you how many "destash sales" we've seen of dresses that were never even worn.
If you do not have a studio space your clients are coming to, the logistics of offering a client wardrobe can be very complicated. You’ll need to think through the process of getting the items to them. Will they be able to try them on beforehand? What about kids clothes? A clear system will be important to avoid getting over complicated. Be mindful of how much time this is adding to your overall client workflow.
Post Session Care + Storage
You’ll have to have those pieces ready for the next client. Keep that in mind when choosing your fabrics (dry-clean only will add up! But so will time washing yourself!) In addition to caring for the wardrobe, you’ll have to have somewhere to put it. Think through the amount of space you realistically have to devote to this.
We have seen photographers serve their clients SO well adding a wardrobe to their offerings! AND we have seen successful photographers opt out! It’s best to weigh these factors yourself and do what makes sense for YOUR business!
Should you decide you want to start a client wardrobe or even just have a few options, here are some staple dresses to get you started!
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